Friday, October 30, 2009

Member services, yeah right

(a recap of my morning phone call)

Him- "Faetna Member Services" (name changed to protect the 'innocent')

Me- "Three weeks ago I mailed in a claim. You know, the kind that you refused to pay from a pharmacy item but were kind enough to let ME pay for upfront and then submit to you for reimbursement. Yeah, that one. Just calling to check on it"

Him- "Date of service, mam"

Me- thinking to myself, *mam* where does he get off. "10/5/09"

Him- "I don't show anything, did you mail it or fax it?"

Me- thinking to myself, fax it yeah right- tried that before and you NEVER say you receive it "Mailed".

Him- "Did you include the form?"

Me- "Uh, no, no one mentioned a form. But I did take my time in typing a long letter that included basically every thing your form does" thinking to myself, he's playing the form card. Great.

Him- "Claims received without the form are discarded"

Me- Chuckles. "See, surely that would not be the case as I did include in the letter (that's me, trying to trump the form) my phone number to call with any questions. See- they would have called." thinking to myself- any moran would have called, right?

Him- "You are speaking to member services, we make the calls. The mail goes to the claims department, they are not the ones to make calls. So they would have just discarded it."

Me- "They threw it away. Because they couldn't call. Do you see a flaw in your system?"

Him- "Mam (uhg, again?)- should you have read your 423 page member services guide- that is so legal mumbo jumbo that any normal person can't possibly comprehend it- you would have known you needed the form"

Me- being snippy- "Mail me back my receipts and I will send it back with the form"

Him- "We don't show that we ever received it. But all you have to do is go back to the provider for another itemized receipt"

Me- "Oh- that's all. All I have to do is go BACK to the pharmacy- with my three kids- again- and get ANOTHER copy of the exact same receipt that I already mailed to you. Great."

Him- "Would you like directions on how to get the form"

Me- thinking- no, what I want are directions to your office so that I can show you what I want you to do with the form! "That would be fabulous."

Nothing in this world of insurance makes any kind of sense to me. Does no one use any common sense anymore???? Including me????? Surely I knew there was a form. And it was a waste of my time to call. In fact, it was a waste of time to mail the stuff in the first place. Just consider my payment a donation. I surrender.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So Sunday- with a bunch of feverish coughing kiddos- I decided to play hookie from church and instead partook in a little monopoly game, family style.Should you ever get the opportunity to play monopoly with these folks- look out for this one. She is a monopoly shark!
And this one, she's getting the hang of it and will soon achieve shark status.

Golly, and this one. He can build a mean tower out of all the houses and hotels. Not to mention, he walks right.across.the.board and can do some serious damage of his own.
But the real one to keep an eye on is him. He can run you to bankruptcy in no time flat by eating all your money!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An update from our neck of the woods.......

So- last week was basically like a whirl wind. And it ended with my birthday.

I've never been one to ever have a concern over age, in fact, I've loved having birthdays and growing older. Until now. This one is kind of bothering me. Until I saw this cake, which made it all better. Dan and the kids spent the night in the kitchen the night before and whipped up this. And it was awesome.

The rest of my birthday day was consumed with work, Allyson's room party at school, a home made spaghetti dinner prepared by Dan and a girl scout trip to a horse farm. And then nightfall and the blessed opportunity to sit down came.

In the car Friday night, my car- which was filled with 6 4th grade girl scouts on their way home from the horse farm- one of Allyson's friends spilled the beans about something Allyson had done. It ruined my entire day, and is continuing to gnaw at me even today. Somehow we trust our children to follow our directions and rules, and let me just say, that when you find out that they don't it just breaks you. It did me anyway.

It made for a totally sleepless night and an unpleasant Saturday morning as we laid out the punishment to Miss Allyson- which included cancelling her slumber party (again) that was planned for this weekend. It broke her heart, and mine.

Happy Birthday to me. It is for sure one I won't forget any time soon.

It did make me wonder though. Does God shed tears when he sees our bad choices, our poor decisions, our lack of concern for His word? I'm sure he does. I sat and cried and fretted over the decisions that Allyson had made, and hated to dish the punishment that I knew she needed. And I prayed. For I knew I had been put in the position that He is in often- worry and disappointment- brought forth by His children.

We've all heard how tough parenting is. I am beginning to realize that it has nothing to do with diapers and midnight feedings- that, I'm afraid, is the easy part. Uhg.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The art of eating

Today- I am going to bore you to tears. I have lots of pictures to share of Sam eating cereal.
There is something so heartwarming to me in watching a small child learn to manipulate utensils.

Especially something like soup or cereal- I just love to watch them eat.Notice his shirt is gone? His pants are too. He'd been eating for a while and got them all drippy so they had to be removed.This child can not stand to have his clothes wet. Ever.

Oh, be still my heart. This will conclude todays ultra boring post. Thank you for pitying me and playing along.

It's now time to scrub dripped milk and cereral from my floor and barstool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's over..............

I hate the be the one to end the affair, but it is time I break the news to our ice cream man.

Summer is over, and so his weekly visits must now come to an end. The leaves have begun to change and fall, the weather has turned cooler, and the shorts from summer have been packed away. The garden hoses will soon retire to the shed, hummingbird feeders will be washed and saved for warmer weather. Autumn is here.

For crying out loud dude- you can stop coming now! It's time for me to have a few months off from the hysterical shouting as children run up the drive searching for dollars! GO HOME! See you next Summer!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fabulous 13

Yesterday, Dan and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. 13 years, it doesn't seem possible.

Dan surprised me with beautiful flowers, a baby sitter and dinner reservations. It was a wonderful evening, and I am grateful for a husband who would go to so much trouble. It was a wonderful dinner and, as a bonus, we have a fridge full of left overs for today (yeah!)

After we put the kids to bed, we sat up and watched our wedding video. I must say, I was shocked at how many people, who were part of our lives that day 13 years ago, are no longer with us. Many have died, some have moved, and some we have just lost touch with. Weird. It was a real reality check for me- to see how much not only our lives have changed, but our circle of support as well.

If married today, our guestlist would be completely different than it was on that Fall day so many moons ago. We have been blessed with many new, close and wonderful friends that make up our current 'circle of support'. And for all of them- I am grateful as well.

That day- 13 years ago- was our wedding day. And it was awesome. Who could have possibly foreseen that 13 years later I would be scrambling around sweeping fish food from the floor? Oh how things have changed.

Today we will begin working on year #14. Praise God.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More from the fabulous fall festival......again.

So last night was the schools annual fall festival. Let me start off by saying that it WAS fun. Regardless of what you are going to read, it indeed was a good time. The kids had a blast, we were surprised with Grandma and Grandpa being able to go with us, and it was awesome to see Allyson and Emily in 'their' environment with their friends. Not to mention, I love seeing all the other moms.

That being said.........
I volunteered in the balloon/dart game room. Imagine, if you will, several hundred small children- fists gripped tight around strips of game tickets- throwing darts. Nuff said. As our shift ended (our as in Emily and mine- she is always wanting to help with whatever I'm doing so she joined me during my shift), she decided to get in line and give it a whirl. Dart one- no balloon. Dart two- no balloon. Dart three- I kid you not- sailed straight for me and came within INCHES of my HEAD. Holy cow batman- it was so close that I nearly passed out!

Allyson- being in fourth grade and all now- was given the freedom to run amok with her friends during the festival. Equipped with strips of tickets and her dad's cell phone- we sent her off to enjoy one of the benefits to being the oldest sibling.

I should have set rules. Because within an hour she reproduced herself having spent all her tickets. What on earth could she possibly have spend 30 tickets on in one hour you ask? The goldfish game of course.
We are now the proud owners of 11- count them 11- goldfish. However- if you did count them and only counted 10- it's because one has already met his maker.
Emily won 1 goldfish. Sam won 1 goldfish. And Allyson won 8. The last one, in case you are wondering, was gifted to us by one of Allyson's little girlfriends. Bless her heart, 10 would have never been enough, we definitely needed 11.
That mistake, my friends, will only be made once. Next year there is no way possible that I will forget to stipulate how many gold fish will be coming home with us. No way. Nut uh. Nope.
Nor will I forget the red slime prizes. Should there be any offered next year as an option, we will NOT, under and circumstances, choose the slime. As wonderful as red slime might sound to you, I have learned that, when allowed to lie on the counter tops for instance, it will dry and NOT be able to be removed. Nice.
So- notes for the file for next year: wear a helmet, put a limit on the fish, no slime.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear School Fall Festival coordinators,

I got your notes- all 83 of them- about the upcoming school festival, thanks for the heads up.

I also got your notes about the sweet shop and how you need home made goodies donated so that we can in turn buy them back from you. I'm glad to do my part.

Funny thing- I'm having this gallbladder issue and have been vomiting all week because of it. Boy the fun just never stops, does it? And even though I am knee deep in a sorely neglected home and my own church festival plans- I am glad to whip something up for you.

Carmel Corn, good old fashioned home made carmel corn. So I popped the pop corn, cleaned up what Sam spilled on the floor and popped more corn. Drug the last 12 tablespoons of butter from the fridge, dug around the cabinet and (luckily) found brown sugar, and began the process. By process, I mean, I had to find my roaster (which strangely enough I found in the laundry room).

As the carmel was cooking, I decided it was time to cut out fabric for Allyson's Halloween costume, which she needs for tomorrow night- but hey who's counting. I was doing the "I am mom hear me roar" dance around the kitchen- all proud of myself for cooking your goodies while making a costume, unloading the dishwasher, reloading the dishwasher and emptying the trash. I mean, after all, it was 9:30 in the morning and I am not feeling the best but I was POUNDIN' IT OUT!

Then I noticed the carmel was turning black, oddly enough, around the edges of the pan. Ah Ha! It was burning. BURNING! Crap. So I thought maybe it was just a little and went ahead and mixed it with the popcorn (16 cups of popcorn) and baked it up.

One bite and I knew. It was indeed burned. But was it too burned for the school bake sale? I mean, who would even know who donated it. And you would already have the money at that point. But another bite proved that it was in fact too burned. Worried that those traitor school secretaries might sell me out as the donor, I decided to throw it out. Double crap.

Maybe, you might ask, I should just whip up another batch. But see- that is just not possible. Because I have to take a shower, I just have to. But maybe, if when I am done I have time, I will run to the store and buy more butter and come home and throw, I mean lovingly prepare, together another batch.

So I ran to jump in the shower- you know not a long relaxing hot shower- but a 'quick, must wash all important parts before my small children destroy something' shower. But it was not quick enough, because Emily came in crying about something (I never did understand her words between sobs) and I had to wrap it up and jump out.

Once consoled, she left, and I began to dry and dress. But not before she reproduced herself, naked from the waist down, informing me that she just really had to go potty. Still confused, I asked her what was up, and that's when she told me she made it to the toilet, but forgot to raise the lid.

So see- now my bathroom rugs, two towels, emilys underpants and pjs need put into the wash (which was already occupied- so that was another thing I had to do before I could do this) and I got to scrub down the entire bathroom floor, toilet and just for good measure the counters and sink too.

Now with all time spent- there is not butter from the grocery time. So you will not be getting a 'home made baked good' from this home. Not this time. But rest assured, we bought our game tickets, donated our used books, bought something for the room silent auction basket, and have signed up to volunteer.

But you should be aware, that if ONE of you mentions the lack of baked goods coming from this home, you should be prepared to be pelted with burned carmel shrapnel. Just a warning, spread the word.


one crazy momma

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Translation please................

Anyone remember what it is like having a child who is just learning that letters, when put together, make up words? Here, let me refresh your memory...............

"What's this say mommy?"

"Well then how about this, what word is this?"

"Okay- read this one"

"And this one?"
Finally, something I can work with.
You try explaining to a 5 year old who has been diligently printing out flashcards that they don't exactly spell anything. Not an easy task.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's only 9:36 AM

I sit here- still in my jammies- waiting for the inspiration to begin another day.

My coffee is cold, but I am still drinking it anyway.

Sam is on sucker #2- thanks to the children's museum haunted house outing last night.

Emily is upset because he is in 'her' chair.

I have mopped up spilled milk, and due to my horrible disposition this morning, managed to yell at Ally for it (dag gone it.)

My dishes are crying out for me- they want my attention, my love, my washing. Much like my children.

My laundry yearns for some nice hot soapy water. Oh the things we have in common.

I just managed to pop a contact out of my eye and drop it on the floor at my feet. Goody.

Today it is going to take some mighty big something to give me what I need to get through this day. Lucky for me, He is aweful mighty and big. Thank you God for being with me.

I'm not asking for anyone to join my pity party- just listen to me whine for a bit. Thanks!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The art of creating Fall snacks.............

Mom came down tonight and made caramel apples with the kids. I loved that she wanted to do this with them, and they were all pretty excited about getting to do it with her, too.

In true cook book form- I will now share with you how to prepare these treats.Begin by unwrapping 3824 caramels.
Wash, dry and remove the stems from apples.

Melt caramels over low heat- while being careful not to trip over 3 children, 1 dog and a stool.

Pick your nose.

Continue stirring- without 3 small children, 1 dog and a stool.Carefully dip apples into carmel. And dig in your pants.Look adorable.Repeat with each apple. While trying not to trip over 3 kids and a stool.Shake on blue sprinkles- if you are a 3 year old boy- and enjoy!Eat left over caramel straight from the pan.Thank you mom for sharing the evening, and your goodies, with us. And for giving me to the time to clean the house while you guys were cooking : )

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Field Trip

Today Emily had her first field trip. Where to? The apple orchard & pumpkin patch of course.

The highlight? I was actually picked to get to go with them. As we all know, every parent signs up for the kindergarten field trips- and only 5 lucky (?) souls get picked. And I was one of them. The real surprise? I was actually able to go. Ally was in school and with Dan on 2nds this week- it left me kidless for a couple of hours to chaperone.

I was assigned 4 chitlins to watch during the day. 4 very active chitlins.
Very busy, hard to keep a handle on chitlins. But I didn't loose one single kid- not one!
And although overcast and a bit chilly- there was no rain so it was a great day to go.
And Emily had a wonderful time. And- to top it all off- she was so excited that I got to come. Allyson never wants me to attend things like this with her, never has. So this was a refreshing change.
Despite arguments over who cut in line, whose pumpkin was too heavy for them to carry, and who was too cold- the kids all had fun and found the entire outing very entertaining.
Bonus? One of my kids grabbed her stomach the minute we got off the bus and said her stomach hurt and she was going to throw up. She didn't. Score one for me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When perfect strangers look at us in disgust.........

So...........last week, in an effort to organize something in my life, Sam and I dropped by the car wash to vacuum out the car.

In the vacuum station next to us was a luxury car. The owner was using those lint free clothes (you know- the free ones they provide you with but I stuff them in my glove box in case of the surprise puking incidents) to dry the cracks around his headlights, grill and doors. Blaring from his radio- classical music.

So I fling open my doors and begin grabbing armfulls of trash to take to the can. On my third trip, I noticed him staring into our van. In horror. Complete disbelief swept over this poor mans face as he looked into our family vehicle. I smiled politely and proceeded to stuff the trash receptacle full of dried up fruit snacks, various wrappers and happy meal toys.

After like 10 minutes of this, we were finally ready to start the old sweeper.

The particular vacuum we selected had good suction (miracle) and sounded like a pop corn popper as I started to sweep the floors from all the 'crap' it was removing from my mats. Because you only get 4 minutes- I was hurrying. As I strummed it back and forth, a small piece of breakfast cereal was sent airborne and, much to my surprise, landed in my mouth- lodging itself in my throat.

As I writhed around the car wash, trying to dislodge said cereal, this man was still looking on- in complete amazement. I would like to think that should my airway have been completely blocked he might have considered administering CPR- but at this point he was just observing- with his eyes WIDE open and mouth the same.

Finally able to breath again, I went back to my vacuuming- now like a maniac with all the time lost choking to death. At the point that the vacuum finally shut off- our vehicle resembled most 'normal' vehicles. No toys strewn everywhere, most crumbs successfully removed, and the chewed bubblegum scraped up from the carpet.

In my eyes- success.

In his eyes- panic. I could mentally hear him thanking God that he was not me. And that this was not his vehicle. In fact, I'm pretty sure I heard him thinking that I better keep my snotty 3 1/2 year old away from his baby.

I couldn't help but think to myself "Yeah mister, I traded my days of polishing my wheels for days of sucking dried up food out of my upholstery. And now the Disney channel is what blairs from my speakers. And my polishing rags now work as accident recovery. Move on."

As I gathered up loose pieces of various paper that were blowing around the concrete that had incidentally fallen from my ride- I looked up and smiled at him once again before loading my Sam and heading out.

Poor fool. Someday he may be blessed with small ones to fill his seats- he'll never look on in horror again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Me- again- two posts today- really need to get something done but can't

So- I was just thinkin. Thinkin about last week's Desperate Housewives episode (I know- I need a life).

If you don't watch (shame on you) I will catch you up-

Lynette- mother of 4 who are all middleschool, highschoolish age. She just found out that she's pregnant- with twins.

She's in the waiting room at her OB's office, and beside her is a first time, belly rubbing, giggling mom who is waiting on her hubby to retrieve her a glass of water.

Lynette turns to her and offers all of this 'advice' about becoming a mom. But what struck me was-

"There will be times that you will feel so alone- but you will never be alone again"

It hit the nail right on the head. I have often wondered how I could feel so lonely and yet I am in constant company by my children. But they are children. As entertaining as they are, and as much as I love them, they are not adult companions.

I am longing for some adult companionship- dinner, drinks, conversation, someone to catch me up on the news that I never get to watch, someone who doesn't require me to remind them to wait their turn to speak, someone who doesn't constantly ask me to spell everything I am saying, someone who doesn't need me to re-wipe their bottoms after going poo, someone who will wipe the ketchup off their own face and not rub it on their pants or shirt sleeves, someone who might even wonder how I am doing- like really doing- not just where I am going (which always seems to be the grocery or Target).

Girls night anyone? Date night? PLEASE- for the love of all things good- get me into the adult world for just a couple of hours.
So- as I was busy trying to get the last minute plans in place for Allyson's slumber party tonight (you know- like trying to either wash or hide the piles of laundry)- the school called.

It was the nurse.

You know what that means- right? Allyson had a fever and I had to come and get her. Party postponed. Bummer for her, but she is handling it like a super trooper- no begging, sobbing or whining. She's just dealin'. It helps that she doesn't feel good- she gets it. Still a bummer.

Unfortunately- our October weekends are super jam packed- so we will have to squeeze this in when we can. Probably on my Birthday. Not exactly the was I was planning to spend that day- but it would be fun to get to party like a 10 year old that day : )

However- Dan is still taking the little man (aka trouble trouble trouble boy) to Richmond to visit his folks today and me and the girls are staying home. We're going to maybe go out for dinner (if Ally feels up to it), possibly a little shopping with Allyson's birthday money (again- if she feels like it) and then probably curl up for a girly girl movie, just the three of us. I am actually really looking forward to the evening ahead of us.

Dan is on nights next week. Yuck. I can feel myself panick a little bit- I sure do hate it when he's on nights. It just throws our entire world out of whack. But we will make it for a week. I'll just be one super tired momma.

Speaking of trouble boy- I better go find him. He is into EVERYTHING today. He'll be lucky to make it until his dad gets home from work if he keeps it up : )

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Decade..........

Today Allyson turns 10 years old, a whole decade, double digets, the big 1-0. Wow.

It's just kind of hard to believe.

Today will be a big day- not only for her, but for us here on the homefront as well. There is a birthday cake to be baked, presents to be wrapped, a special birthday dinner selected by the birthday girl herself to be cooked- and then we're going to go out for some fun as a family this evening.

I hope that she has a super wonderful day. 10- still kind of sucks the air right out of my lungs!